Thursday, November 06, 2008

Narikuravars: Chapter 7

CHAPTER 6 - Fruitful interactions and support

“The village (Keerapalayam) panchayat has also got about 20 families of Narikuravas who are erstwhile Nomadic people and who now do the business of selling ornamental beads, etc. The village panchayat president and members took efforts to ensure that all the 16 children of Narikuravas families were enrolled in the local Elementary School.” (

Another organization, Exnora, boasts of improving conditions at the Indranagar Narikurava settlement on their website. “Slide and video shows were organised on health and personal hygiene. The residents first took up the task of clearing the solid waste from the colony and the wild plant growth from the project site. A storm water channel leading from the locality to a nearby canal was desilted so that rainwater would not stagnate in the colony…

Exnora designed the plan for the construction… A night school for adult literacy has also been planned …A bio gas plant has been constructed in the area so that the sewage from the toilets could be treated onsite…

…Initially Exnora helped the community for securing bank loans with personal guarantees from Exnora office bearers like Mr. S. Sathyanarayanan, General Secretary of Exnora International. Exnora monitored the loan repayment, which ensured 100% repayment. This encouraged the bank to renew their loans and increase the loan amount from the initial Rs. 1000/- to Rs.3000/- per family.”
(Exnora website:

One Hindu article mentions Narikuravas donating seven bags of rice to tsunami victims.

The organization ‘Social Change and development, Gramodhaya Rural Intstitute’ at Cheranmahadevi, Tamil Nadu, claims to have set up a formal school, health centre and a co-operative society for marketing bead chains benefiting 180 families of gypsies (Narikuravas). (

Self Development of People (SDOP) claims to have helped repair damages to a Narikurava Community Hall at Thiruthuraipoondi. The US based organization Presbyterian Committee along with SDOP, has contributed $1,744 (about Rs 75, 000) to the Welfare Association of Narikuravas. (

Last year, the Narikuravas of Pudukudi village, Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu got a loan with fifty per cent subsidy for preparing beads, `rudraksha' malas and `spatikas’ from Indian Overseas Bank, the leading bank in the district.

The Collector, M. Veera Shanmugha Moni, handed over cheques worth Rs.two lakhs as loan to two Narikuravas women's self-help groups (SHGs), comprising 24 members.

In Devarayaneri, Tiruchi, early last year, a handicraft development training programme exclusively for `narikuravas', was organised jointly by the Commissionerate of Handicrafts Development of the Union Textiles Ministry and the Narikuravar Education and Welfare Society (NEWS), a voluntary organization. 230 members of 10 women's and two men's self-help groups belonging to the `narikurava' community were involved in the programme.


There are about 20 to 50 Narikurava families in Panahalli, Anandampalayam and surrounding places, Erode. A few villagers trained 12 women to make flowers, bouquets and garlands from plastic. These women then formed the Chamundeeswari SHG, which is registered with the Panahalli Primary Agricultural Cooperative Bank (PACB).

Between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. every day, they work in a hired shed.

”Two or three members of the group make a trip to Sathyamangalam, Gobichettipalayam, Samrajnagar, Bangalore and Mysore twice a week selling the flowers door-to-door.

One of the members of the group, Chandramma of Anandapuram tribal settlement says that before the venture, the condition of their life was pathetic and they had food just once every day.

Manija, coordinator-cum-motivator of the group, says that the Panahalli PACB granted a loan of Rs. 1.60 lakhs, of which Rs. 80,000 is subsidy. They are also able to repay their loan to Panahalli PACB regularly.

Each member earns a profit of about Rs. 1,500 per month. With the income, there is a shift in their focus on personal hygiene too”, the article said.


In Nagapattinam, 11 Narikurava children were admitted in a bridge center, functioning at the Natarajan Damayanthi Higher Secondary School. The collector Mr. Radhakrishnan, distributed notebooks and other stationery items to the children who had joined the centre under the Sarva Siksha Abhyan (SSA) scheme for getting regular education in primary schools.

He also announced that free house site pattas would be given to Narikuravas who send their children to bridge centres and provide them primary education continuously for more than a month.

Officials of the District Rural Development Agency and elected representatives were reported to have held a discussion on the spot and prepared an `estimate' for laying the two-km-long road for Ayyalur, a village 15 km from Perambalur. They even finalised the means for funds.

The decision was taken after a number of narikuravas not only submitted a petition but also politely `forced' the officials and politicians to trek for some distance to have a glimpse of the precarious condition of the road.